WRESTLING NEW SPORTS LIBRARY WRESTLING CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN, CUMBERLAND & WESTMORLAND, & ALL-IN STYLES by E. J. ^HARRISON AUTHOR OF THE ART OF JUDO, THE FIGHTING SPIRIT OF JAPAN, ETC. Illustrated by BEN 8 HALF-TONE PLATES FROM PHOTOGRAPHS SPECIALLY POSED BY W. WOOD AND C. LAW LONDON W. FOULSHAM & CO. LTD. NEW YORK TORONTO GAPE TOWN SYDNEY WEHMAN PROS. 158 l\/WA STREET HACKENSACK, N. J, W. FOULSHAM & CO. LTD. Yeovil Road, Slough, Bucks. fro UBRAKY 201017 MADE AND PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY JOHN GARDNER (PRINTERS) LTD. HAWTHORNE ROAD, LITHERLAND, LIVERPOOL, 20. © W. FOULSHAM & CO., LTD. i960 CONTENTS CHAPTER author's PREFACE. I. INTRODUCTORY II. SCHOOLS OF WRESTLING . III. CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN IV. CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN COTlt. V. ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING VI. CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORLAND STYLE .... PAGE 7 II 16 26 5° 68 84 AUTHOR'S PREFACE In all probability I am better known in the world of sport as a veteran judo devotee, holding the 4th Dan in that art, and a life member of both the famous Kodokan of Tokyo and the Budokwai of London, than as a wrestler in the European styles. Nevertheless, had I not felt personally confident of my qualifications for the commission assigned to me by my publishers I should never have con- sented to accept it. I hope, therefore, that the contents of this little book may be left to speak for themselves and that they will satisfy my prospective readers of my competence to write about such branches of wrestling as Catch-as-Catch-Can and Graeco-Roman, more particularly. A native of Lancashire, I took to wrestling at an early age as naturally as a duck to water. After emigrating in my teens to British Columbia and while there earning my livelihood as a youthful journalist, I joined the miners' athletic club at Nanaimo on Vancouver Island where, almost every evening, I practised Catch-as-Catch-Can under one Jack Stewart, a wonderful little lightweight, the favourite pupil of the then quite celebrated Dan McLeod. McLeod was a native of Nova Scotia but known professionally as the "Californian Won- der". There I gained considerable proficiency as an amateur lightweight (about 11 stone). 8 WRESTLING My introduction to the Japanese art of ju-jutsu, and later to judo, ensued after I went to Japan from San Francisco. Although, of course, ju-jutsu and judo are not Catch-as-Catch-Can, yet considering the influence which both these arts have since exerted upon the All-in style I think I am entitled to say that my early knowledge of both the older ju-jutsu and the more modern judo has appreciably helped me to grasp the rationale, so to speak, of the All-in technique. Then, during the time I spent in Russia as assistant Times correspondent under the late Robert Wilton, that paper's correspondent in Petrograd during the first years of the 19 14-18 war, I devoted much of my leisure to the assiduous practice of the Graeco-Roman, otherwise known as the French style of wrestling. I was a member of the then well-known "Sanitas" Athletic Club of Petrograd, under the skilled tutelage of no less an ace than Karl Pojello, the famous Lithuanian ex- ponent of the All-in style and, at that time, when Lithuania was under Russian rule, amateur middle- weight champion of Russia in the Graeco-Roman style. Pojello was then a private in the Russian army but while stationed in the capital was allowed to attend the Sanitas Club for wrestling practice. This earlier association explains why more than once in these pages I refer to Pojello's favourite methods. Pojello later succeeded in emigrating to the United States and settled in Chicago where, I deeply regret to state, he passed away when hardly more than sixty, from cancer. His death came as a author's preface great blow to me personally and, at the time, was sincerely and widely mourned by all mat-men. In his prime he was a magnificent physical specimen of manhood and, during a short visit to this country and then scaling about 14 stone stripped, he defeated all comers on the mat. In this connexion it is interesting to note that Pojello himself ad- mitted that he owed no little of his skill in All-in wrestling to the knowledge of judo which he had acquired from a Japanese teacher in Shanghai after his escape from Russia through Siberia. It is not intended that the present little work can be exhaustive or that it will enable the student to dispense with practical tuition. No textbook on any subject can do that and least of all perhaps a work on such a highly technical branch of athletics as wrestling. Indeed a book many times the size of the present volume could be compiled without say- ing the last word on the noble and manly palestric art and without obviating the necessity for practical training under a qualified instructor. Undoubtedly, however, a good textbook can serve as a very useful auxiliary. From my own experience of both catch wrestling and judo I do not hesitate to say that a thorough grounding and proficiency in com- paratively few methods are preferable to a super- ficial knowledge of many tricks. If, then, in conjunction with a properly qualified instructor, the ambitious tyro studies the carefully selected methods described in the following pages, he will eventually realize that he has become no mean IO WRESTLING exponent of the art and that he has laid a firm foundation upon which to build a superstructure of more extended ability. My thanks are specially due to Mr. W. Wood, better known in his heyday as "Billy" Wood, one- time welter-weight champion of the world, and to Mr. Charles Law, for their highly impressive demonstration of eight wrestling falls and holds reproduced in these pages as half-tone plates. E. J. Harrison. Chapter I INTRODUCTORY Wrestling in its more primitive forms is probably the most ancient of all physical exercises in which one human being pits himself against another for the mastery, without the use of lethal weapons. In purely friendly contest the use of the hand or fist for slapping or striking has not usually been per- mitted in generally recognized styles of the art, until the advent of the so-called :; All-in" system, for which reason it has proved itself to be a more healthful exercise and one capable of being prac- tised far longer than boxing. True, wrestling in any of its various forms may cause its votaries an occasional dislocation or mus- cular strain, but, in contradistinction to professional boxing, it is rarely that anything more serious than a superficial injury is inflicted. A comparison between the respective maximum ages at which boxing and wrestling can be practised professionally is all in favour of the latter. Thus Poddubny, the famous Cossack wrestler in the French or, as it is also called, the Graeco-Roman style, w r as winning international victories up to his sixty-fifth year. The former English champions, George Steadman and George Louden, were still active in their fifties. A former world champion, George Hacken- n 12 WRESTLING schmidt, retired on his laurels and a decent com- petence before he reached that age, but even at the age of seventy was still amazingly strong and agile, and fully capable, were he so minded, of again taking the mat against most men of his weight. If, too, the Japanese art of judo be included among branches of wrestling, we have the classic instance of the famous founder of the celebrated Kodokan of Tokyo, Dr. Jigoro Kano who, at the age of seventy-four or thereabouts, was hale and hearty, as active as a cat, and still able to give a prolonged physical demonstration of his art without turning a hair. Undoubtedly, like any other intensive sport, wrestling of whatever school makes severe demands upon the strength and endurance of its followers, and possession of an absolutely strong heart is indispensable to the wrestler. There are not indeed wanting critics who assert that wrestling is re- sponsible in many cases for enlargement of the heart and premature death. It is, however, very doubtful whether such an assertion could be satis- factorily proved, although if indulged in to excess wrestling, like any other athletic exercise, may become injurious to health. Moreover, it would probably be found on careful investigation that some comparatively early deaths among wrestlers have been due less to their profession than to over- indulgence in alcohol or addiction to other vices. There is, however, one conclusion to which I myself have been forced as the result of sustained INTRODUCTORY 13 personal observation, experience, and hearsay, viz., that it is not advisable for the wrestler, who has devoted long years to the practice of his art, to desist suddenly and retire to a sedentary mode of life. An abrupt transition of this kind can be only harmful to the subject, and may easily precipitate physical deterioration and premature death. The Japanese are quite convinced of this in the case of judo, so that the professional teacher of the art in Japan, if well advised, will never suddenly abandon practice, but instead will do so gradually, by gentle degrees, until his system has had time to become attuned to less strenuous habits. The reason for this is not far to seek. All exercise is a form of stimulus, the sudden removal of which may entail some organic or nervous disturbance. Wrestling, per- taining as it does to the more intensive forms of physical exercise, cannot be instantly renounced without risk of similar consequences. The unathletic type of person, on reading these lines, may be moved to ask: Why, then, go to the trouble of contracting a habit which cannot later be abandoned without danger? And he may further and justly assert that such violent forms of sport are in no way essential to health, and that sedentary individuals can show a record of longevity quite as good as, if not better than that of the professional or amateur athlete. One is forced to admit the truth of this contention, but its truth does not impress me as an argument in favour of a sedentary life. It is surely not conducive to culti- 14 WRESTLING vation of a manly and an aggressive spirit, without which the young man of to-day, more perhaps than his predecessors, is likely to be badly handicapped in the severe struggle for existence. At any rate, it must always seem to every athlete that the man who has never experienced the thrill of physical emulation in some form of sport, whether in the football or cricket field, in the swimming pool, or on the mat, has not savoured the true spice of living; and even though it might be proved that devotion to one or other of these forms of sport must tend to shorten one's span on earth, one would still be tempted to retort, "A shorter life, but a merrier one " — which is perhaps only another way of saying that one would rather wear out than rust out. It will be clear from what has been said that it would be far more dangerous for a sedentary man of mature years to adopt a physically strenuous mode of recreation than for the seasoned athlete in general and the wrestler in particular to renounce all exercise. The sedentary middle-aged man is more deeply and irrevocably committed to slothful ways than the veteran sportsman to sport, and the risk of heart failure is generally greater in the former than in the latter case, should any abrupt and violent change be attempted. That sedentary habits are not incompatible with longevity is there- fore undoubtedly true so long as the subject refrains from undertaking sudden physical effort; but all the same, longevity which goes with an over- INTRODUCTORY 15 developed paunch, an under-developed chest, and flabby muscles is not the particular type of long- evity that will commend itself to the "he-man". Another strong point in favour of wrestling as a beneficial branch of athletics is that it cultivates an all-round physique in which no one set of muscles or part of the body is developed at the expense of another. Thus, whereas some forms of sport, such as football, tennis, fencing, rowing, and even box- ing, tend to expand, say, leg muscles more than arm muscles, one arm more than the other, the forearm muscles more than the biceps and triceps, and so on, wrestling, if practised in its various phases, does not suffer from these drawbacks but makes a more evenly distributed demand upon the energies of the body as a whole. It is true that the Catch-as- Catch-Can and Grae co-Roman wrestler can generally be detected by his splendidly developed neck, but this feature would be described as a defect only by those that can find something to admire in the scrawny throats of far too many young Englishmen who otherwise might claim to possess reasonably good physiques. Furthermore, the wrestler's muscular neck is usually in keeping with a correspondingly muscular torso and legs which are equally necessary items of his physical equipment for his chosen profession. Chapter II SCHOOLS OF WRESTLING It would be an ardous and perhaps almost impossible task to enumerate all the forms of the art of wrestling which from time immemorial have gradually grown up in different parts of the world, and I do not therefore propose to embark upon any such hopeless undertaking in these pages. There can indeed be very few countries whose active menfolk have not for centuries in- dulged in some form of wrestling, and doubtless if all such forms could be closely scrutinized, they would be found to bear a family resemblance to one another. Naturally in the earlier stages of the art, wherever practised, a match would tend to be far more a test of brute strength than of skill and finesse, and victory as a rule would declare itself on the side of the heavier and more powerful adversary. Then gradually as communities pro- gressed in intellectual and material well-being, but not to the point of decadence, specialization manifested itself in sport and athletics as in most other human activities, and the part played by superior skill as the decisive factor in, inter alia y wrestling matches, became steadily more marked. None the less, it is surely a noteworthy fact that there is still only one school of wrestling, if it may 16 THE- HANK: Wood/the assailant, is applying this useful "chip" with his right against Law's left leg, his right arm encircling Luw*s left shoulder and back as far as the right arm-pit. and his left hand gripping Law's raised right wrist. An effective standing arm-lock, describsdjn the text, the only difference being that Wood, the assailant, hasjhere applied the lock against (.aw'srig/ir arm, whereas in the text the victim's /eft arm is attacked. The principle remains the same. SCHOOLS OF WRESTLING 17 be so styled, in which the factor of weight, for example, is wholly ignored when contests are being arranged, and in which the weights may be in- discriminately mixed in pitting one opponent against another. I refer, of course, to the Japanese art of judo, in which a lightweight frequently defeats a far heavier adversary through superior skill. Although it would be entirely unjust to say or imply that skill is not an all-important factor in every branch of wrestling, and that certain variations of weight are not permissible in pro- fessional wrestling contests, I do not think it can be successfully contended that the degree in which such discrepancies are seen in judo matches has so far been reached in any other branch of wrest- ling. Alike, therefore, in the Cumberland and Westmorland, Graeco-Roman, Catch-as-Catch- Can, All-in, or even the Japanese sumo styles of the art, lightweights do not usually contend against heavyweights. There is thus a tacit ad- mission that, other things equal, the heavier and stronger man enjoys an advantage over the lighter and weaker one. The foregoing paragraphs already enumerate the better-known styles of the art, viz., Catch-as-Catch- Can or the Lancashire school; Cumberland and Westmorland ; French or Graeco-Roman (although it may be doubted whether a reincarnated gladiator of the age of Nero would be able to discover in the repertoire of the last-named many of the "chips" or trips with which he had been familiar) ; l8 WRESTLING All-in; Japanese sumo and judo. Seeing, however, that to the art of judo a separate volume of this useful series has alreadv been devoted. I shall do no more than make incidental mention of it in these pages, when reference to it may help to illustrate or supplement descriptions of other schools. A few words may perhaps be devoted to the Japanese sumo style practised by the professional heavyweight wrestlers, veritable mountains of fat and muscle, weighing anything up to twenty stone and over. In this style of wrestling you may defeat your opponent merely by pushing or carrying him out of the ring, for which reason weight and abdominal development are deemed important. On the other hand, the style also comprises as many as forty-eight different throws, some of them similar to our own Cumberland and Westmorland, although freedom of arm grip is permitted. If one of the contestants touches the ground with his knee he is declared the loser of that bout. In spite of their huge bulk, these men are amazingly active and supple. They can easily do the "split", and raise their tremendous thighs almost to the level of their shoulders. Many years ago, at the pic- turesque Japanese mountain resort of Miyano- shita, I was an amused spectator of an incident in which Taiho, then a sumo champion, and a giant some six feet six or seven in height, and over twenty stone in weight, allowed an enterprising young American to take a running kick at his SCHOOLS OF WRESTLING 19 stomach, when with a mighty heave Taiho caused his assailant to rebound and shoot through the air on to his back. The sumo system of training includes the hardening of their naturally powerful limbs by much beating and by butting at wooden posts with their shoulders. Their diet is also stronger than that of the ordinary Japanese, and they eat enormous quantities. In weighing the relative and respective merits of these several schools or styles of wrestling, in order to make a choice in favour of one particular school or style against another, I imagine that the tyro will naturally take into consideration not only the factor of health but also of utility. What style offers the maximum advantages when viewed from these standpoints? There are not wanting, of course, authorities who extol the first-down-to-lose principle above all others, and who decry both the Graeco-Roman and Catch-as-Catch-Can styles, not to mention All-in, because they include "ground-work" as a highly important branch of their repertoires. I should not be writing this book if I shared those opinions. Admitting that virtually all styles of wrestling save judo are governed by rules and conventions which detract from their efficacy as methods of offence and attack, I am satisfied from practical experience and observation that Catch-as-Catch-Can, for example, offers considerably greater scope for use in a real rough and tumble, comprising as it does both ground-work and falls from the standing 20 WRESTLING position, than the Cumberland and Westmorland school, which restricts the contestants to one method of holding, and therefore inevitably narrows the field of action and the repertoire of tricks. Re- garded, too, even as exercises for physical develop- ment, there is more to be said for Catch-as- Catch- Can, with its wonderful action on the neck muscles, than for Cumberland and Westmorland, which makes relatively less demand upon that area of the body. Incidentally the stronger neck of the Catch- as-Catch-Can wrestler would serve him in better stead in a real rough and tumble, when not in- frequently the real trouble begins to brew as soon as the parties are on the ground. In such cases, it is "All-in" with a vengeance, and one's know- ledge of, and ability to apply an effective strangle- hold might easily make all the difference between victory and defeat. And whereas in a Catch-as- Catch-Can, or Graeco-Roman match the contestant whose two shoulders are first pinned to the mat is declared the loser, in a real struggle for mastery recourse to far more drastic methods would be necessary to gain a decision over one's opponent. I do not deny that the student of wrestling can learn something useful from almost every style extant, and that the spirit of eclecticism is to be encouraged in this as in every other form of sport; but it will surely be obvious that for practical purposes a system, such as Cumberland and Westmorland, which restricts the arms virtually to one position, and in which, if either party breaks SCHOOLS OF WRESTLINO 21 hold, i.e. loses his grip, even though he may still be on his feet, he is declared the loser, cannot successfully challenge comparison with Catch-as- Catch-Can, not to mention judo, in which the most effective use is made of arms and hands as an auxiliary to one's legs, in upsetting the other fellow's equilibrium or in forcing his shoulders to the mat. Before beginning the most difficult portion of my task, i.e. the attempt to describe in a highly condensed form the more effective and useful "chips" of the several systems enumerated, I shall offer a few general remarks on the subject of training for the fray, whether as amateur or professional. There is, of course, nothing to beat wrestling itself as a means of training for the preservation and development of strength and agility indis- pensable to success on the mat. Whatever the style chosen, it will most effectively influence all the muscular groups, impart flexibility to the body and, above all, give the heart and lungs the neces- sary powers of endurance. In addition to training on the mat itself, however, the student can usefully practise some other auxiliary forms of exercise designed to expand and develop the muscular groups most frequently called into action by his art. In the case of Catch-as-Catch-Can, in which we are more particularly interested, the student cannot hope to make much headway without possession of a strong neck and strong hands. 22 WRESTLING Without a strong neck, he will not be able to make proper use of the so-called "bridge", i.e. the posi- tion in which the wrestler raises his shoulders off the ground by arching his back, with the crown of the head and soles of the feet as sole support at either end, in order to avert defeat at critical moments; while without powerful hands and wrists, he will find himself severely handicapped in ground-work, more especially, when trying to apply the various nelson holds (Fig. i). For both these branches of muscular development ordinary dumb-bells and bar-bells may be used to advan- tage. When practising the bridge, for example, the student should hold out the bar-bell at arm's length behind his head; then raise and lower it slowly at regular intervals, endeavouring at the same time to arch the back to the utmost extent, and to bend the head and neck as far as possible. A really supple young wrestler can thus bend back so far as almost to touch the mat with his nose and mouth. Another favourite method among Russian Graeco-Roman wres tiers of my acquaintance, when I myself practised that art at the then Petrograd "Sanitas" Club during the 19 14-18 war, was to get a comrade to sit astride of one's chest as one formed the bridge, and then slowly to lower and raise the torso with this super-imposed weight, without, however, allowing the shoulders to touch the mat. Many of these young bloods had in this way attained a degree of suppleness which placed them almost in the contortionist class; they could SCHOOLS OF WRESTLING 23 indeed bend and arch the back to such an extent that head and heels almost met, and from that position they could easily rise to their feet again. For development of strength of wrist, a quite simple but none the less effective expedient is as Fig. 1 follows: Take an ordinary table napkin or small towel and twist it between the hands. When you have twisted it apparently so far that further twisting would seem impossible, continue none the less to twist it with the maximum exertion of strength. A second exercise recommended by a well-known German Graeco-Roman wrestler,whose 24 WRESTLING name I cannot at the moment recall, is the follow- ing: To a cylindrical rod is attached a cord about three feet in length at the end of which is a weight of about twenty-five pounds avoirdupois ; holding the rod at approximately the height of the lower part of the chest- bone, you should try to wind the weight round the rod by swinging it steadily. Opinions appear to differ on the advisability of weight-lifting as a branch of training for the mat; on the whole, it may be fair to say that if not overdone, and when practised intelligently, under expert direction, weight-lifting can be beneficial, and need not be detrimental to speed. For the wrestler in training, running and walking in the open air should never be omitted. Their salutary effect on the entire organism, and especi- ally the lungs, cannot be overrated. For any wrestler or athlete desirous of keeping fit, the efficacy and tonic properties of cold water cannot be too highly extolled. I am not an advo- cate of the cold bath, into which one must step feet first; instead I should advise the regular matutinal cold shower in an empty bath over the bottom of which a jug of hot water has been poured to lessen the shock to the lower limbs, more par- ticularly on chilly winter mornings. Needless to say, after working on the mat, a hot and cold douche should never be omitted. Once this whole- some and invigorating habit has been contracted, it will rarely be abandoned for the rest of one's life. Swimming is another useful aid to training, but SCHOOLS OF WRESTLING 25 should not be overdone. I recall that many Japanese judo teachers of my day did not recom- mend swimming as a concurrent form of sport; the idea seemed to be that too frequent immersion of the entire body in water for prolonged periods tended to soften its texture and unfit it for the more exacting and strenuous task of maintaining one's equilibrium in a totally different element. Massage after wrestling is, of course, highly bene- ficial and agreeable. Care should alwavs be taken that all premises in which training is carried on are adequately ventilated and equipped with the bathing facilities described. THE VX1VZC1 THE U'-.-I^iTY CF TEXA3 AT TL P.^0 EL ?:^1 TLC.S 201017 Chapter III CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN THE BRIDGE AND SPIN SELECTION OF USEFUL STANDING HOLDS, LOCKS AND THROWS Most styles of wrestling can be practised on the greensward, but where and when this is not avail- able, a well-padded mat is necessary in order to preserve the contestants from injury when violently thrown, and when spinning and in the bridge. Rubber-soled laced -up pumps on the feet, to pre- vent slipping, and a pair of so-called jock-straps for the protection of the more vulnerable parts of the body are the only outfit actually needed, unless the pupil desires more covering, for reasons of vanity or susceptibility to cold, since in this style of wrestling no hold on clothing is allowed. The bridge and spin hold almost the same rela- tion to the Gatch-as-Catch-Can and also Graeco- Roman style of wrestling as does the "breakfall" to judo. A description of the former has been given in the preceding chapter. The spin can often be advantageously utilized as a means of escape from a nelson and crutch hold. It is effected by, so to speak, kicking off with the legs until one is standing almost on one's head; in this position one makes a turn or half-turn so that one rolls over the back 26 G AT C H - AS - G AT C H - G AN 27 of one's opponent. On the other hand, if the assailant is quick enough, he can sometimes frus- trate the spin by seizing the performer by the upper part of his body or by his left arm during its execu- tion, in order to bring him down on both shoulders. Like the bridge, the spin can be practised alone upon a surface that is not too hard. From a prone position, face downwards, using feet and arms as levers, the pupil should raise himself with a swift motion on to his head and twist both head and body sharply to the right, letting himself down in a kneeling posture. As it is appreciably more difficult to spin "on one's own" than with an opponent's body to roll over, once the pupil has succeeded in spinning solo, it will be a comparatively simple matter to spin in combination with an opponent. Divisions of Catch- as-Catch-C an : This style of wrestling can be divided into two main branches, i.e. standing holds and throws, and ground-work. In the following pages I shall do my best to describe a series of carefully selected holds and throws under both these heads. Tching-Hold: The term Catch-as-Catch-Can im- plies that the contestants are free to implement the struggle in any manner they choose. That is, of course, true in theory, but in practice the opening of a match tends to become stereotyped with the method of taking hold illustrated in Fig. 2. Here the left hand generally grips the back of the other man's neck, while the right may rest on his left shoulder or somewhere in the region of 28 WRESTLING he under upper arm, slightly above the elbow. The Cross-Buttock : This is a very good starting- point for the tyro's training on the mat. Like Fig. 2 nearly every other wrestling throw it can be effected from either right or left side. As far as the leg movement is concerned, it does not materially differ from the well-known Cumberland and Westmorland "chip". The arm-hold, however, is different. Moreover, seeing that in Catch-as- Catch-Can style your object is to force your antagonist's shoulders to the mat, it is not usually CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN 29 sufficient merely to throw him from the standing position, which rarely achieves the desired aim; a good plan is to fall with and upon him, so that he has no opportunity to bridge. If you plan to cross-buttock your man with your left leg, you may hold him round the neck or high up round the waist with your left arm, while with your right hand you grip your opponent's left arm slightly above the elbow. Now turn your left side to your opponent, and cross both his legs with your left leg, and with the combined power of your loins, hips, and arms twist him forward and hurl him to the mat, simultaneously falling heavily on top of him (Fig. 3). The manoeuvre may not always succeed, in which case you are likely to find your- self involved in a struggle on the mat, with which branch of the art I shall deal later. As mentioned above, the cross-buttock can also be applied from the right, when the movements are simply re- versed ; you encircle your antagonist's neck or waist with your right arm, and secure his right arm with your left; you then cross both his legs with your right leg, and proceed as in the former instance. There are, of course, and naturally, variants of this particular throw, according to individual fancy. Thus, say you are effecting it with the right leg, and you have pulled your antagonist well forward, you can often exert more powerful leverage with hips and loins by keeping your right foot inside his right foot and more or less parallel to the latter and with the toes pointing in 3<> WRESTLING the same direction, as in analogous judo koshiwaza or loin tricks. There is always room for the play of individuality in this as in every other art, and it is % Fig. often a mistaken policy to lay down hard and fast rules for every hold and throw. The Hank: Another "chip" found also in the repertoire of Cumberland and Westmorland style. C AT C H - A S - C AT C H- C A N 31 A convenient opening for recourse thereto may be afforded if you have failed to bring off a cross- buttock, say, with your right leg, when your right arm will usually be over your adversary's left shoulder. The hank in such case consists of a click applied to your victim's left leg with your right leg; in other words, you hook it from the inside below the calf, then jerk it suddenly and strongly forward in such a way as to "break" his balance in a backward direction, so that he falls with you on top of him. Your object again, as in the case of the cross-buttock, is to prevent his bridging for safety. Success or failure of the manoeuvre naturally depends upon the degree of your antagonist's skill. He may, of course, contrive to fall without touching the mat with both shoulders, when as a rule ground-work will ensue. The hank with the left leg is a simple reversal of the foregoing movements. You are then encircling your adversary's neck with your left arm; and you click his right leg from the inside with your left. The Back-Heel : The more orthodox form of this chip is a click to the outside of your adversary's slightly advanced leg with your opposite leg, i.e. your left against his right, or vice versa ; but to the Catch-as-Catch-Can or All-in wrestler, with some experience of judo, say a mat-man of the calibre of the famous Lithuanian champion, Karl Pojello, several useful variants of the foregoing form will suggest themselves. In the case, for example, of a back-heel with your right against your adversary's 3* WRESTLING right leg (Fig. 4), it is by no means essential that your attack should be directed against his ad- vanced leg; it may be equally or even more effec- tive if directed against his retreating leg. If you Fig. 4 feel that he is about to rest his weight upon his retreating right leg, for example, with your left V c >> 5" u - u c • v. ' c c ■C.C ■O.C S « OjC 4>TJ T3 C Q ,- O SJ iS H c Sf z8 '•J c . y. — z = a — 3 O i. _>. < ■/: y: o c o v £ <y. j^. u y< 5 v. o tii C/5 r" '_ 'o 3X1 O it uu i_ ■ Jj a i_ yi 3 ? •*•* ■• C o 1/3 2 Q o J jC O £ I i *m • # o J LU ^ -1 C ■Mi O O £ z >. c X) C/3 -o J V Ul s z l_ 1 (/> X c J o < t; 3 "3 CATGH-AS-GATGH-GAN 33 hand grasping his right arm somewhat above the elbow, and your right palm pressed against his left collar-bone, you may be able to hook the back of his right with your right leg, and break his balance backwards, thus hurling him heavily to the mat. Another useful variant of the back-heel with your opposite foot, i.e. your left against his right or vice versa, can sometimes be successfully applied when your opponent slightly advances, say, his right foot; if at that moment you can contrive suddenly to raise his left arm with your right from beneath his elbow, draw forward and slightly downwards his right arm pinioned with your left, and click his right foot from behind with your left foot, held scythe-wise, you may succeed in throwing him violently backwards to the mat. Once your antagonist loses his balance, it is almost impossible for him to counter successfully. The back-heel is yet another trip used in the Cumber- land and Westmorland style, but with this differ- ence that the arms, owing to the limitations of the hold in that style, are of far less service than in the Catch-as-Catch-Can style of the art, as above described. The back-heel belongs to the category of instinctive or natural throws, which almost every healthy human boy must have practised, consciously or unconsciously, at one time or other. Flying- M are : The more usual form of this throw, which is seen also in the Graeco-Roman style, is to grasp your opponent's right arm at the elbow with your left hand or trap his forearm 34 WRESTLING under your left arm-pit; then pivot round with your back turned to him in such wise that your right shoulder comes under his right shoulder. Then with your right hand you seize from outside the Fig. ^ upper part of his right arm, and by leaning forward with knees slightly bent drag your antagonist against your buttocks, and from that position hurl him over your right shoulder, bow-wise, so that CATCH-AS-CATCH-GAN 35 he falls upon his back (Fig. 5). The flying-mare hears a strong family resemblance to the judo seoinage, or "Shoulder Throw", albeit owing to the rules governing Catch-as-Catch-Can and the absence of clothing, fewer variations of the throw are possible in the latter style, than in judo. It is rarely that the flying-mare succeeds against an experienced antagonist. It can most readily be frustrated by side-slipping, so to speak, and step- ping round his right leg, thus preventing him from drawing you on to his buttocks. The Head-Throw: This belongs to the same category as the flying-mare. Pivot round suddenly with your back to your adversary. Grip the back of his neck with both hands in such wise as to press his head against either shoulder. Then insert one of your legs between both his legs, fall upon one knee, and by bending suddenly forward contrive to hurl him over your shoulder to the mat in front (Fig. 6). If he is able to anticipate this move, it should not be difficult to baulk it by thrusting off your encircling arms with his palms. Even if thrown over your shoulder, he may manage to bridge and so avert disaster. The Head-throw is rarelv attempted in actual contest. Head Lift and Crutch-Hold: This throw is largely reminiscent of what in judo is known as kata- guruma or shoulder wheel. The most opportune moment for the application of this trick is therefore when your adversary's posture has been broken towards, say, his right front corner, either inad- 36 WRESTLING vertently or in obedience to a pull on his right arm with your left. Just as your opponent is in the act of bending forward, you should advance your right foot a little and at the same time lower your Fig. 6 loins, thrust your right hand between his thighs and press the upper part of his right thigh. Your left hand has meanwhile retained its grip of his right arm which you raise from the wrist as though CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN 37 about to lift him ; you then thrust your head under his right arm-pit, and with the combined strength of your neck and the arm which is gripping his right thigh, you raise yourself until you have got Fig. 7 your victim entirely upon your shoulders (Fig. 7) . From this point of vantage you can easily deposit him on his back just in front of you by means of a pull with your left hand and a push with your 38 WRESTLING right, while simultaneously you bend slightly forward. In virtually all the standing throws herein described, it should be understood that it is always advisable to fall with and on top of yo :r victim in order to break down his bridge, if both shoulders do not touch the mat when he is first thrown. Rear-Throw: This rather spectacular throw is almost identical with the Graeco-Roman "ceinture de derritre\ The more customary method of making an opening for this throw is to grasp your adver- sary's left wrist with your right hand, and encircle his left arm above the elbow with your left and from this point drag him strongly towards yourself so that he is forced to turn his back (Fig. 8) . Then you pass your right hand and arm round his body from the right side, and link your right with your left hand over the abdominal region, and lift him from the ground. If this manoeuvre succeeds, you relinquish the hold with your right hand, and with the latter apply a half-nelson to your victim's neck on that side. This is followed by a turn with your right foot, while your left foot retreats a pace. Your left arm is then withdrawn from your victim's left hip, while with the force of your half-nelson and the leverage of your right hip you dash him to the mat, letting yourself fall simultaneously (Figs. 9 and 10). Your antagonist's left shoulder-blade should at once touch the mat; if his right does not follow suit, you should endeavour to complete the good work by means of the half-nelson. Other CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN 39 opportunities for employment of the rear-throw are afforded whenever your opponent turns his back on you, provided your hands are free. A Fig. 8 useful counter to an attempt to apply it is to pin your opponent's arms tightly to your sides in order to prevent employment of the half-nelson. "Souplesse" or "Ceinture en souplesse" : This is one of the most difficult, dynamic, and sensational 4° WRESTLING throws in the entire repertoire of both the Catch- as-Catch-Can and Graeco-Roman styles of wrest- ling. It will be remembered as the Lithuanian Karl Pojello's tour de force in many a hard-fought Fig. 9 bout. It can be executed from both the rear and front of your opponent, with this difference: that whereas in the former case its immediate object is to land your victim on both shoulders, in the latter CATCH-AS-CATCH-GAN 41 case it seeks so to daze him with the violent fall that he will easily succumb to your attack imme- diately ensuing. In the first instance it is applied as a substitute for the rear-throw previously described. Seizing your antagonist round the waist you lift him as high as possible ; then bending your Fig. 10 body backwards you throw yourself to the mat, carrying your victim with you, but contriving to hurl him to the left over your own body, so that 42 WRESTLING both his shoulders hit the mat beyond your own head ; you yourself avert a similar fate by making a half-bridge with your left side only on the mat, your right being above the mat, your head curved backwards and partially supported by your bent right leg (Fig. 1 1 ) . If the souplesse has been Fig. i i effected with sufficient force, then as a rule your antagonist will fall on both shoulders, but should he manage to fall on the bridge he may escape defeat. When the souplesse is applied from the front, it is a good plan to pin your opponent's arms to his side, and then hurl yourself backwards GATGH-AS-GATGH-GAN 43 carrying him with you, as in the rear souplesse (Fig. 12). It is not impossible for an expert to fall to a full bridge as he throws his victim to the left and heavily on to his head. The souplesse may be usefully employed in the All-in style dealt with later. Fig. 12 Waist-Hold: This corresponds more or less to the Graeco-Roman "coup de ceinture de devant". The most favourable opportunity for attempting 44 WRESTLING the waist-hold is when your opponent is leaning backwards. Grasp him round the waist with both arms, draw him forcibly towards you, raise him from the ground, and swing him over your right or Fig. 13 left hip to the mat, if necessary going down with him so as to render his bridge abortive. A useful defence against the waist-hold is to press your CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN 45 antagonist's head back with both hands under his chin (Figs. 13 and 14). Standing Arm-Lock and Throw: Grasp your opponent's right wrist with your left hand, and Fig. 14 without relinquishing your grip turn your back towards him; then with your right arm encircle the upper part of his right arm and press it closely to the upper part of your own body, while with your 46 WRESTLING right hand you grasp your own left wrist, thus effecting a painful lock on your victim's right arm. From this point it should not be difficult to click your adversary's right leg from the outside with Fig. 15 your right leg, and bring him to the mat with yourself on top (Fig. 15). Another Standing Arm-Lock: An even more effective hold, with or without a throw, is as CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN 47 follows: With your left arm encircling your opponent's neck and your right hand gripping his left wrist, you turn as though about to attempt a cross-buttock with your left leg and hip. He may very well seek to frustrate your move by raising Fig. i 6 your left elbow with his right arm and pushing it over, thus extricating his neck. You should then swiftly pass your left arm round his left arm above the elbow. Bend down his forearm with your 48 WRESTLING right; pivot round on your left leg to face him lift your hand in the crook of his left elbow, and force back his left wrist with your right hand until his arm is bent at a painful angle, more or less in an approach to the prohibited hammer-lock. By pursuing this lock you could easily bring him to the mat. On the other hand, you could alterna- Fio. 17 tively, by not quite facing him and keeping your left leg outside his left leg, throw him with the so- called "sweeping-loin" used in judo, although in Catch-as-Catch-Can you would naturally fall with 1/1 •- c ~ ■ •>■ h* *■«■ •-» •y; s» P "J «— 1/) '/S It it c s a* a* C lc 8* §^ c S — iJa tt x'= £ ."o c «S2 O-Sct (Ax? 22 3 c U S-S < 3- OC L. ■- o I «£ ;/)*> o IS u -2'S js •* 5 JS.S .» «* « > > o 2-e c «- "* C • •«* JS eg 60— o o JSJB a j, -1 ce II c£ °« ? V J JS "3 its -li- CO ej C CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN 49 all your weight on top of your opponent in order to prevent his bridging. Jack-Knife Splits : An opening for this trick may be afforded when your opponent is behind you preparing to swing you to the mat with his arms clasped around your lower waist. Bend down suddenly and catch either of his feet with both hands; draw both foot and leg as far as possible between your legs, and holding his leg well up against your crutch fall back upon him, when he will be compelled to drop on his back to the mat. You should land heavily seated astride his chest, thus rendering a successful bridge almost impos- sible. The higher up you can trap his leg in your crutch the better (Figs. 16 and 17). Chapter IV CATCH-AS-CATCH-CAN— ConL PRINCIPAL METHODS EMPLOYED IN GROUNDWORK The contents of the preceding chapter are far from being an exhaustive enumeration of standing holds and throws in the Catch-as-Catch-Can style, but with the space at my disposal I cannot safely extend the list if I am to give the reader an intelli- gent idea of the second and equally important branch of this art, viz., groundwork. The two principal defensive positions in ground- work are (i) a kneeling posture supported on the mat with the elbows or with the palms and knees; and (2) prone on the stomach. Of these the former is the more "scientific", since it is likely to offer more chances of recovering one's feet. The object of the prone posture is generally to oppose the weight of one's body to the attack of one's opponent. The "Nelsons": These may not unjustly be described as perhaps the most important of any single offensive method known to groundwork. Except in All-in wrestling, only the quarter-, half-, and three-quarter nelsons are permitted in matches. The full-nelson was barred a good many years ago, after its too violent application had 50 CATCH-AS-CATCH-CA N — COnL 51 broken the neck of a continental wrestler. The nelsons are rarely employed alone; more usually they are utilized in combination with a crutch or other hold on the victim's body or legs. The simple half-nelson is effected by the assailant against his kneeling opponent; if you are the assailant, and you are also kneeling on your right knee at his right side, you thread your right hand and arm under his right shoulder, and press down his head with your palm powerfully applied well up the back of his neck, near the crown, at the same time endeavouring to raise his shoulder (Fig. 18). A quarter-nelson can be applied by threading say your left hand under your opponent's near shoulder, which means that you are operating from his right side. Your right hand bears down upon the back of your opponent's neck, while with your left hand you grip your own right wrist. Let your right hand press heavily against your victim's neck as high up as possible, as in other forms of the nelson ; the help of your left hand will appreciably intensify the efficacy of this pressure and you may succeed in bringing your man over on to his shoulders. The three-quarter nelson is effected, if you are working on your opponent's right side, by thrust- ing your left hand and arm under his chest until your hand emerges above his left shoulder and passing over the edge of his neck on that side links up with your right hand which you have passed over the back of his neck near the crown to effect 52 WRESTLING this contact. With the combined downward pressure of your right hand and the simultaneous upward lift of your left forearm and downward pressure of your left hand, which is aided by your right hand, you may succeed in forcing your victim over on to his shoulders. Fig. i 8 Yet another nelson combination is contrived by threading your left hand — again if you are working on your adversary's right side — under your opponent's far shoulder, the left, and then imposing your right forearm or elbow upon the back of his neck, you link your right hand with CATCH-AS-CATCH-CA N — COTlt. 53 your left (Fig. 19). This form of the nelson is, how- ever, less effective than the three-quarter nelson above described, and unless you are careful you may in your turn fall a victim to your adversary's parade, i.e. he may trap your left arm with his left Fig. 19 and capture your left hand with his right, and roll you over his back on to your shoulders, with the help of a swift twist of his body. Although, as already stated, the full-nelson is barred in Catch-as-Catch-Can matches, it may be briefly described here, since I shall have occasion to refer to it in my subsequent remarks on the All- 54 WRESTLING in style. As its designation implies, it is effected by threading say the left hand and arm under your opponent's left shoulder — as you attack from his left side — and your right hand and arm under his right shoulder, and linking both hands as high as Fig. 20 possible over the back of his neck. Violent sus- tained downward pressure, assisted by the weight of the upper part of your body, will compel your opponent, unless possessed of abnormal strength of neck, to roll over on to his shoulders (Fig. 20). Half -Nelson and Crutch-Hold: This is one of the CATCH-AS-CATCH-CA N — COflt. 55 more familiar and frequently used combinations in groundwork. A half-nelson with your right hand from your adversary's right side would mean a crutch -hold with your left hand; co-ordinating the downward pressure of your half-nelson at one end of your victim with the lift of your crutch-hold Fig. 2i at his other end, you may succeed in bringing his shoulders to the mat. A useful parry to this attack is the spin described in detail in the earlier part of this chapter. Half-Nelson and Wrist-Hold: If the half-nelson 56 WRESTLING has been applied with your left hand from his left side and your recumbent adversary tries to wrench that hand from the back of his neck with his left hand, you should grasp his left wrist with your right hand and bend his forearm downwards Fig. 22 (Fig. 21). This is a form of lock, and if applied with sufficient force may easily compel your victim to go over on to his shoulders. On the other hand, if when you apply a half-nelson with your left hand he should try to rise, you may thrust your right arm under his chest and link it with your left CATCH-AS-CATCH-CA N — COM. 57 over the back of his neck, striving forcibly to bend his head downwards and inwards, so as to compel your victim to relax on to his back (Fig. 22). The foregoing combination pertains to the cate- gory of really effective and promising tricks. A variation of this method, if you have applied a half- Fic. 23 nelson with your left hand from his left side, is to capture his right wrist with your right hand and bend his elbow without actually forcing the fore- arm over his back, which would constitute a form of hammer-lock, another prohibited method in Catch-as-Catch-Can (Fig. 23). Nevertheless by 58 WRESTLING thus depriving your victim of the use of his right arm as a support on that side, you increase the effectiveness of your attack. As you continue to turn him with your half- nelson, you should throw yourself over his body to the opposite side ; this leg movement communicates additional force to your effort to turn him over. If he resorts to the bridge, you should continue with the half-nelson and on the other side retain a powerful grip of his right wrist, which will prevent him from turning and in the end force him down upon both shoulders. There are several other combinations and auxiliary move- ments, with the help of your free hand, which lend your attack unusual strength and render it almost invincible, unless your antagonist is greatly your superior in strength and skill. Arm-Roll: An effective form of this manoeuvre is as follows : If you are kneeling on your opponent's left side, you thrust your right arm under his left arm and grasp his right wrist with your right hand, while with your left from behind you seize the upper part of his right arm. Then with your left shoulder pressing closely against his left side you strongly draw his captured arm towards yourself, and in this manner gradually force him over on to his shoulders. Another variant of this manoeuvre is to grip his right wrist with your left hand, in the first place, after thrusting it under his left arm, and the upper part of his right arm with your right arm ; you then insert your right shoulder as far as possible under his left shoulder, and co-ordinat- GATCH-AS-CATCH-CA N — COnl. 59 ing the outward push of your shoulder with the inward pull of your arms against his captured right arm, you endeavour to force him over on to both shoulders. Yet another variant is effected by pass- ing both your arms under your adversary's left Fio. 24 arm, and then seizing his right arm above the elbow, drawing it powerfully inwards towards yourself (Fig. 24). If your opponent is clever enough to anticipate these movements, he may frustrate their object by extending his right leg to 60 WRESTLING one side as a support, from which position he may attempt to rise and attack you in his turn. Half-Nelson and Leg-Hold: Sometimes called "Figure-Four Scissors on arm and Half-Nelson". This combination is more easily effected when you are operating on your prone opponent's right side. Thrusting his head suddenly downwards with your right palm, you apply a half-nelson with your left hand and arm from the outer side; as you force him over in your own direction you contrive with both your legs to trap his right — the inside — arm, which you push outwards to the fullest possible extent with the powerful pressure of your legs; then his left arm, locked with your half-nelson, can be drawn under your chest as you lie almost face downwards, and his wrist gripped with your right hand, from which point you may succeed in com- pelling both his shoulders to touch the mat. A useful variant of this manoeuvre is sometimes operated from your opponent's left side. If you can take him unawares, you catch his left wrist with your left hand as you kneel on your right knee facing in the same direction, and draw it tautly across your left knee ; you then apply a half-nelson with your right hand and arm from his right — the outer — side, and, having deprived him of the use of his left arm, you may succeed in forcing him over on to both shoulders. Shoulder-Roll with Arm-Hold: Kneeling in front of your prone opponent, you thread your right arm under his left shoulder and forcibly bend it up- CATCH-AS-CATCH-CA N — COflt. 61 wards; this manoeuvre in itself is rarely effective to score. It is therefore advisable to combine it with a hold on his other arm, the upper part of which you grip with your left hand and powerfully draw it downwards and inwards, in this manner en- deavouring to force your victim over on to both Fig. '2$ shoulders (Fig. 25). A second variant of the shoulder-roll with arm-hold is worked from his left side. You then thread your left arm under his left shoulder, and press it tightly against your chest to prevent its escape; with your free right hand you 62 WRESTLING grasp his opposite arm across his back at the elbow and turn it downwards with the object of forcing your victim over on to both shoulders (Fig. 26). Yet another variant consists in first capturing your adversary's right elbow from underneath with your right hand extended across his back as you kneel Fig. 26 at his left side, and then linking your right hand with your left. Your right elbow at the same time presses into his left side, and from this point you strive to draw him towards yourself and force him on to his shoulders (Fig. 27). A modified form of CATCH-AS-CATCH-CA N — COTlt. 63 the hammer-lock may be effected by seizing the wrist of his left hand with your right hand, and his elbow with your left, as you kneel at his left side, and dragging his forearm to his spine until it forms a right angle. A bend beyond that point would expose your victim's arm to the danger of dis- Fig. 27 location. You should then cross over to your opponent's right side and draw him towards your- self with a view to overturning him. Additional force is lent to this combination if you hold his left wrist at his back with your left hand and with 64 WRESTLING your right apply a half-nelson from your own side. This junction of the half-nelson with partial hammer-lock is a bit risky, and in friendly bouts might advantageously be omitted. Rear- Throw in Groundwork: Having taken up a position at your opponent's left side, with your Fig. 28 left knee on the mat and your right leg bent and between your opponent's legs, you grasp his left wrist or elbow with your left hand, and with your right arm encircle his body in the abdominal region (Fig. 28). Then with the encircling arm IT. ^ M (J c t» n C * ^ y: • * •y: /» v. ^" /J 'S c 3 *"*■ SS V5 •^ "w c & '5 c c 7J V " £> V ra I— Hmm Ww u mmt c V ,££ £ •« T3 •-* 51 • * vr M» #^ V # 1 •y. >s. Z .- o j: S.e _i — . C"gg "™ ~ c yj >. " oil n eft §1 IS £8 gfc. J8S $2 Si* Sh fill GATCH-AS-CATCH-GA N COM. 65 you draw his right side powerfully upwards in your own direction, while with your left you push him in the reverse direction. This movement will bring you on to your own left shoulder with your oppo- nent on his back over you (Fig. 29). In order to Fig. 29 prevent him from bridging, you should retain a strong hold of his body with your right arm and force his stomach downwards, while with your left hand you grip him in the region of his right shoulder and bend him down to the mat until both shoulders are touching it, 66 WRESTLING Body Scissors and Half-Nelson: Say you are working from your prone opponent's left side. Apply a half-nelson to his far shoulder — the right — taking care, however, not to fall a victim to his parade, should be attempt to clutch your right arm, with which you are applying the half-nelson, and roll you over his back. If you manage to raise his right shoulder and draw him bodily towards you, swiftly trap his torso between your legs in the scissors-hold, already described, so that your right leg is over and your left leg under his body, while your feet are firmly interlocked beyond. In this position you find yourself resting at right angles to your victim, with your left elbow on the mat. Using the combined strength of your half-nelson and the scissors-hold, you may succeed in forcing both his shoulders to the ground. Methods of Breaking Bridge: The first method below described has often been demonstrated bv 4 my friend H. Johnson, former amateur welter- weight champion of England in Catch-as-Catch- Can. It has served him in good stead in numerous instances. Say you are on your opponent's left side, you bend over him and take a simple hold on his right arm with your left hand, so that he cannot make use of it; then you cross your right over and grip his right shoulder, while with your right fore- arm you crush with all your force down upon his lower jaw and chin. There are very few necks extant that can withstand this sudden and painful onslaught. Another good plan is to throw your- CATCH-AS-CATCH-CA N — COTlL 67 self over your opponent almost face to face, but so that you can entwine his legs above the ankles with your own; if then you strongly and suddenly straighten out your own legs you can compel him to relax his grip of the mat with his soles, and flatten him out completely. Chapter V ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING I approach this part of my subject with a good deal of misgiving. As a journalist and publicist of sorts, my knowledge of the laws and police regulations of Merrie England assures me that if any really serious attempt were made to justify the adjective in all its implications, police-court proceedings would speedily ensue and the attempt would be nipped in the bud. I am told that in the United States the licence in this respect is almost incredibly wider, and that the excesses ordinarily- witnessed in professional encounters under All-in rules are simply appalling, and foreign to British ideas of sportsmanship. I have no doubt that the All-in game in this country has resulted in some fundamental changes and much greater latitude as regards the use of hitherto prohibited throws, holds, and locks; but on the other hand, from an almost life-long experience of the Japanese art of judo, the influence of which is evident in certain phases of All-in wrestling, I am perfectly satisfied that if some of the methods of assault publicly exhibited to-day were seriously employed, the victim would not, as he frequently does, skip off the mat with the airy grace of a ballet-dancer, but would have to be removed to the nearest hospital 68 ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING 69 on a stretcher. Nevertheless, in so far as the development of the cult of All-in wrestling may have led to a revival of genuine methods pre- viously barred as being too dangerous, such as the full-nelson, hammer-lock, kidney-squeeze, and some others, and the adoption of certain tricks from the judo repertoire, I am of opinion that the style is worthy of the student's attention. I am, of course, presupposing that any aspirant for mat honours who pays me the compliment of using the present publication as a preliminary textbook will not seek to explore and master the mysteries of All- in until he has gained a good working knowledge of orthodox Catch-as- Catch-Can, which undoubtedly furnishes the basis for this later development of the art, and the majority of whose methods are equally applicable to All-in. If the aspirant follows this advice, he will find himself in a better position to discriminate between what is genuine in the All-in repertoire and what is more in the nature of clever play-acting, designed to create a gladiatorial atmosphere, and to satisfy the popular thirst for "thrills". There is no denying that not a few of the All-in professionals are men with extensive wrest- ling knowledge, and that many of the holds and locks they have elaborated could be painfully applied in real earnest. Karl Pojello himself, the famous Lithuanian champion, and a renowned exponent of All-in methods, is a case in point. As far back as 19 12 he won the championship of Russia in the Graeco-Roman style at the then St. 70 WRESTLING Petersburg. In the following year he became first Russian Olympic champion at Kiev and Inter- national Tournament champion at Breslau; and in 1 914 second Russian Olympic champion. Then after the war he won several Far Eastern cham- pionships, and studied the Japanese art of ju-jutsu, later turning the knowledge thus gained to excel- lent account when he entered the All-in ranks. After his arrival in the United States in 1923 he beat Johnny Meyers for the World's light heavy- weight title, and after his entry into the heavy- weight class he won the European championship from Froehner twice running, and later scored an easy victory over Oakley. The presence of men of such calibre in the All-in game should give one pause before venturing to treat the style as a negligible contribution to the art. Yet as a realist, a bone I have to pick with the pioneers responsible for the introduction of All-in methods is that they have not had the courage of their convictions, and have not ventured even to revive the good old strangleholds employed ages ago in ordinary Catch-as-Catch-Can, as taught to me personally in the dim fantastic pre-war period by the sturdy colliery mat-men of Nanaimo, B.C. This omission must appear all the more singular when we see the frequent use made of the so-called "rabbit" punch in All-in contests; for who among men of any wrestling experience generally and ju-jutsu knowledge in particular, is not aware that a blow seriously delivered with the outer edge of ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLINO 71 the hand at certain vulnerable spots in the body would be infinitely more dangerous to the victim's health than a hundred strangleholds, to which the victim can always surrender before any real damage has been done? Being myself of a less timid complexion, and convinced of the utility of strangleholds and of their perfectly legitimate character in either amateur or professional wrestling, I propose in the following pages to describe a few of the more effective methods of choking an opponent, as calculated perhaps tu serve the student in good stead in a genuine emer- gency. For the rest, I shall confine myself to descriptions of tricks which can be applied in such a way as not to inflict instantaneous injury on the victim, but which would prove ultimately danger- ous to him only if he should obstinately refuse to submit. In this context I am not gravely concerned to determine whether or no any or all of these methods are generally adopted in the All-in style; it is of far more importance that the student should be able to derive from this little textbook hints which may be of real service to him should he wish to take up All-in wrestling. I am not denying that certain All-in wrestlers may have acquired a superficial knowledge of esoteric ju-jutsu methods of assaulting vital spots in the body, and that they could employ them to the grave or even fatal injury of an opponent. I am simply contending that only the simulacrum of such tricks would be possible or permissible in this 72 WRESTLING or any other civilized country for the good and sufficient reason that their reality would result in the death or permanent injury of their victims. Under the rules not only of the famous Kodok- an of Tokyo, founded by the illustrious Professor Jigoro Kano, but of virtually every known "ryugi" or school of ju-jutsu in Japan, this esoteric branch of the art, usually styled ^atemi\ may be taught only to disciples who have attained a certain rank, and then only under a vow of strict secrecy. Seeing that I mvself have subscribed to that oath, it would be highly improper for me to divulge such "fc" or methods in their entiretv; but since in the course of time there have been inevitable leakages, as is evident from the All-in tactics I have witnessed or about which I have heard, I do not feel that I can rightly incur censure if I venture in these pages to make casual reference to a few of such methods of assault. For the rest, the reader who finds the repertoires of the Catch-as- Gatch-Can and Cumberland and Westmorland styles too restricted and perfunctory, and not sufficiently drastic, cannot do better than study my Art of Ju-jitsu, published uniform with the present volume some two years ago and now revised and republished under the title The Art of Judo. A combination of the knowledge derived from all these systems should be the best means of acquiring proficiency as an All-in wrestler. ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING 73 It should be mentioned here that in the All-in style, virtually all the methods of Catch-as-Catch- Can and Graeco-Roman are equally applicable, because victory in the first-named style can be achieved, as in the second and third styles, by pinning your opponent's shoulders to the mat for a count of three. In addition, however, to the fore- going, you may win in the All-in style by com- pelling your adversary, through the pain of a hold or lock, to submit; hence the expression "sub- mission fall". Ostensibly, too, you may scoTe a victory by knocking your victim out for a count of ten, as in boxing. In the All-in style, however, the blow must not be given with the clenched fist, but with the outside edge of the hand or wrist. In view, then, of what has been said, the aspirant should study the present chapter in conjunction with Chapters III and IV relating respectively to Catch-as-Catch-Can standing holds and throws and groundwork. Nothing approaching an ex- haustive exposition of the subject is possible with the space at my disposal. Assuming that the student has already gained a practical working knowledge of Catch-as-Catch-Can, I feel justified in leaving something to his capacity for improvi- sation in the domain of holds and locks during actual contest; some acquaintance with judo will enable him to work out many others, according to circumstances. Seeing that in earlier chapters I have fully described the full-nelson, while pointing out that 74 WRESTLING it may not to-day be employed in Catch-as-Catch- Can, it will not be necessary to go over the same ground again here, as regards that particular hold. In the case, too, of the modified or partial hammer- locks, also described elsewhere, the reader will understand that in a genuine All-in bout he would bend the trapped arm beyond a right-angle until real, not assumed agony, compelled his victim to concede a so-called * Submission" fall. In addition to the methods already described, the hammer- lock can be secured, if you are working on the ground from your opponent's right side, by grasp- ing his right wrist from the inside with your right hand, dragging it powerfully towards you and over his back; you should then swiftly change your position to the front of your opponent, and trap his head between your knees. Both hands can then be applied to his captured right arm, and if you gradually draw it upwards from the elbow, in the direction of his neck, you can compel him to surrender or run the risk of serious dislocation. Strangleholds : There is a distinct family likeness between the strangleholds or chokelocks formerly employed in Catch-as-Catch-Can, but nowadays forbidden in both that style and All-in, and the judo methods classed as hadakajime or "strangling naked*', i.e. without making use of the loose jacket which the judo pupil ordinarily wears when bouting. Despite the official embargo, I append descriptions of a few good locks. If, then, engaged ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING 75 in groundwork, you might take advantage of an opportunity to encircle your opponent's throat from above with either your right or left arm. If you are using your right arm, you should, as in judo, keep the palm downwards, and cup it, so to speak, in the upward palm of your left hand, and from that point strive to drag back your victim's head as far as possible until submission is extorted. If from his right side you make use of your left arm to encircle your victim's throat, you should similarly grasp your downward palm in your right hand; the efficacy of this manoeuvre can be appreciably enhanced if you press the left side of your head against the right side of your victim's head, much as in judo. If the lock has been properly applied, your opponent must submit or go under. From your opponent's left side you can similarly combine a right-arm chokelock with pressure of the right side of your head against the left side of his. The same stranglehold can be perhaps even more effectively applied if your opponent has assumed a sitting posture, and you are behind him, just as in judo. In using this method you should so hold the encircling arm as to exert the maximum pressure with the sharp edge of your wrist against your victim's wind-pipe. Another variant, when your relative positions are the same as above described, is to pass your right arm round his throat and bring it back over his left shoulder until it seizes your own left upper arm, while with your left hand you press the back 76 WRESTLING part of your victim's head. Then by combining a pulling motion of your right hand with the forward pressure of your left hand against the back of your victim's head, you can strangle him between your arms. Kidney-Squeeze : I give below a description of two methods, the first at one time in common use among Catch-as-Catch-Can wrestlers, and the second the old ju-jutsu method which, however, would not in any case be admissible in Catch-as-Catch- Can because it involves a position on the part of the assailant which would be tantamount to self- defeat, i.e. supine on the back with both shoulders touching the ground. In the first method, you had to lie sideways, i.e. on one shoulder, right or left, as the case might be. In this posture one leg was passed underneath your victim's body and the other over it, in the region of the lower ribs, and your feet interlocked at the far side — virtually the scissors-hold described elsewhere — pressure against his trunk being effected by the inner sides of your knee-joints. In the ju-jutsu style, you lie supine on your back with your victim pulled down over you ; while you can also dig your thumbs into his wind-pipe as an additional means of gentle persuasion. In this position the squeeze is far more efficacious and painful than when applied from the side. Toe-Hold: A really nasty and potentially dangerous lock. It is applied when your opponent is lying face downward on the mat. Cross his feet, ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING 77 say the right over his left, above the ankle; then locking them against your chest, force him to bend his legs. Then reaching forward and downwards you clasp both hands against the crown of his head which you force backwards, in this manner in- flicting intolerable pain upon his spine and neck. This lock is illustrated elsewhere by Wood on Law. Splits : If your opponent is on the mat, either bridging or on one shoulder, you may be able, if operating from his right side, to trap his right leg by encircling it with your right arm passed under his foot at the ankle and further held with your left arm and hand against his calf, from a position seated almost at right-angles. Hugging his cap- tured leg closely to your chest, or passing it round the back of your neck, you contrive to grip his left leg about midway between your feet and to press it outwards away from you to the utmost extent. The pain of this process may conceivably extort submission. Short-Arm Scissors: If your opponent is lying on his back, you seat yourself on his right side facing him. Trap his right arm with your right hand gripping it within the crook of his elbow while you wrap your right leg round and over his bent forearm, until your right foot touches your out- stretched left leg in the region of the knee. Not an easy hold from which to extricate oneself. Action on Joints Combined with Kicking: I have already expressed a lurking doubt as to the 78 WRESTLING genuineness of some of these methods. As far, at any rate, as kicking is concerned, it seems hardly open to doubt that if the principles of judo atemi were actually observed, the victim would not be likely to survive the experience. I myself was initiated into this method of kicking by one Hagiwara, a teacher of the well-known Tenshin Shinyo-ryu, who kept a school at Yokohama, where I practised before joining the Kodokan in Tokyo. The method being based upon the assumption that the combatants would be barefooted, the kick is not delivered with the toes, but with the ball of the foot: the kick is given with a swift staccato movement, the foot being withdrawn like lightning after the kick. Constant practise on these lines renders the expert's soles so hard that he can kick not only human flesh but inanimate objects of wood or even stone with comparative impunity. This same teacher Hagiwara would often kick one of the supporting wooden pillars of his small wrestling hall so powerfully as to shake the entire house. Obviously no such result could be achieved by using the toes alone, and equally obviously, a human being kicked with such force, especially in a vital spot, would become totally uninterested in the subsequent proceedings. If, then, in an All-in bout you were to grip the fingers of your opponent's left hand with your right hand, twist his palm outwards, and then applying your left hand crush back his captured hand at the wrist with your thumbs meeting and pressing against the phalanges ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING 79 of his first and second finger, the bottom edges of both your overlapping hands resting on his inner wrist, you could force him to bend downwards, in which position you could conveniently deal him a violent kick with the ball of your right foot in the region of his heart. I have yet to be convinced that this manoeuvre has ever yet been genuinely carried out at any All-in tournament, for the good and sufficient reason that its inevitable sequel would be a charge of manslaughter against the assailant. Similarly as regards methods of hitting an opponent. The All-in men have evidently taken a hint from atemi and often employ the outer edge of the hand for this purpose. If, however, vital spots were seriously assaulted in this manner the consequences might easily be fatal. Among such spots are the jugular vein, a point just above the bridge of the nose, known as the uto, and another just above the upper lip styled jincku, to mention only a few out of many, some of which, however, are assaulted with the bunched points of the fingers or with the feet. A really heavy blow with the outer edge of the hand against the uto or jincku of a prostrate opponent would unquestionably render him insensible, if nothing worse, owing to their intimate connexion with important nerve centres. All-in wrestlers are also known to resort to pressure with the thumb against a point immediately under the lobe of the ear, styled the dokko, in atemi par- lance. Seeing that this method can be gradually 8o WRESTLING applied, recourse thereto may be genuine; when she pain becomes unendurable the victim can tubmit. Fig. 30 A spectacular lift and dump, sometimes seen in Catch -as-Catch-Can and Graeco-Roman, is occasionally possible when your opponent is in a ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING 8l low position in front of you. Should you manage to grasp him round the waist from above, as he bends in the posture shown in Fig. 30, you lift him Fig. 31 up bodily upside down until his torso assumes a position almost perpendicular to your own (Fig. 31.). The impact of your chest as you thrust it 82 WRESTLING forward will cause your victim to swing outwards, and seizing the opportunity you try to dash his shoulders down upon the mat. If he escapes defeat by bending his head, you raise him again and once more lower him with unceremonious violence until the desired end is accomplished. Seeing that injury to one's adversary may very easily result from this form of throw, it should possess a special appeal to All-in "fans"! I will complete this brief review of All-in methods with a description of a devastating but perfectly legitimate fall culled also from the judo repertoire, admirably adapted to All-in or even Catch-as- Gatch-Can methods, because it can be used against an unclad opponent. If an opening offers, snatch your adversary's right hand or wrist with your right hand from the outer side; i.e. with your thumb on the outside; then rapidly turn your back towards him and at the same time encircle your own neck from the rear with his captured arm. You should then be almost alongside your opponent. Next you pass your left arm round your victim's waist, or you may use it to reinforce the hold of your right hand on his right wrist as it passes over your right shoulder ; then hurl yourself sideways to the right carrying your victim with you so that he lands on the mat with terrific force underneath you and thus breaks your own fall. I can but repeat that there are quite a number of other throws, holds, and locks in the repertoires ALL-IN STYLE OF WRESTLING 83 of both Catch-as-Catch-Can and Graeco-Roman styles available for the All-in system, and careful study of these pages, coupled with assiduous practice, should enable the aspirant to make a selection. Chapter VI CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORLAND STYLE Earlier in these pages I have made no attempt to conceal my personal opinion that, in the wake of more recent developments in the art of wrestling, the aspirant for honours on the mat can do better than to specialize in the Cumberland and West- morland style, although admittedly, the wider one's range of knowledge and experience the better, and if one has the necessary time at one's disposal, benefit may accrue from familiarity with the main principles and "chips" of this particular style. Owing, however, to my long association with the Japanese art of judo, nowadays generally ad- mitted to be the most comprehensive and practical of all known systems of defence and attack, I cannot help regarding with disfavour any style which deprives the performer of the use of any of his limbs. Thus, while the supporter of the Cum- berland and Westmorland style certainly has a case when he scoffs at the Graeco-Roman system for its prohibition of tripping, he himself is no less illogical for favouring a school which forbids free use of the arms. If, moreover, you are contemplating the acquisition of an art likely to be of use in a real emergency, it would surely be a mistake to accus- 8 4 CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORLAND STYLE 85 torn yourself to a style in which the arms play a very secondary part in achieving victory, I do not, of course, deny that even in the Cumberland and Westmorland style the arms are of material service as auxiliaries, but compared with the role assigned to those limbs in the Catch-as-Catch-Can and Graeco-Roman styles, not to mention judo, their share in the composition of all tricks in the reper- toire of the first-named is merely negligible. With the free use of the arms permitted in Catch-as- Catch-Can, virtually any throw' or hold known to Cumberland and Westmorland can be even more effectively applied in the former style, the efficacy of which is still further enhanced by the variety of methods, alike from the standing position and on the ground, rendered available by the use of arms and legs in combination and independently. A cursory review of what has been said about the Catch-as-Catch-Can style will convince the student that a number of the best-known tricks of Cum- berland and Westmorland already form an integral part of the formers repertoire. The "cross-buttock", "hank", "back-heel" and "flying- mare" are cases in point, and I shall not, therefore, recapitulate what I have written about those throws in Chapter III, contenting myself with pointing out the modifications of method neces- sitated by the Cumberland and Westmorland arm-hold. Taking-Hold: The wrestlers take their stand chest to chest; each places his chin on his opponent's 86 WRESTLING right shoulder, and uses an arm-grip in which the left arm is placed above the other's right, and the right arm below the other's left arm. The hands are linked behind each other's back by hooking, Fig. 32 not clasping the fingers together, with the back of the right hand digging into the back of one's antagonist (Fig. 32.). Under the rules governing this form of wrestling, should one of the contestants lose his hold, even though not thrown, while his CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORLAND STYLE 87 adversary retains his, he shall forfeit that throw. If, too, either party touches the ground with one knee or any other part of the body, even though he still retains his hold, he shall be declared the loser. If both fall to the ground the first down or under the other is the loser. Should they fall side by side or in any manner leaving the umpire in doubt as to which of the two was first on the ground, the bout is styled a "dog-fall" and must be wrestled over again. The Hank: For a description of this throw see Chapter III. Except as regards the arm-hold, the fundamental principles are precisely the same. The accompanying figure will give a good idea of the method of its application. Here the assailant has turned his left side towards his opponent, and has used his left leg to click his opponent's right leg below the calf. On the other hand, had he turned his right side towards his opponent, he would have employed his right leg to click his opponent's left leg. As in Catch-as-Catch-Can you contrive to fall as heavily as possible on top of your victim (Fig. 33-) • Back-Heeling in the Cumberland and Westmor- land style is usually applied to your opponent's slightly advanced right leg with your own left, because in this position you enjoy the advantage of the lift with your right arm under your oppo- nent's left arm-pit (Fig. 34.). An expert wrestler might even find an opening for back-heeling the other's right leg with his own right leg, or perhaps 88 WRESTLING hooking it from the back of the knee downwards much in the fashion of the judo throw styled o-soto-otoshi. The back-heel is a useful defence Fio. 33 measure when you find yourself on the point of being lifted from the ground. I am aware that most Cumberland and Westmorland authorities CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORLAND STYLE 89 advise back-heeling only with the left leg, but any wrestler at all experienced in judo will join issue with this fiat, and advocate the inclusion of your right with the same object. ffipt \\f*J$\ ^\. ~^z I / ff$[ \ \ M <1\ I /All) ^^F ^^BrCiu*^^^ Fio. 34 Cross-Buttocking in Cumberland and Westmor- land style is usually effected with the left leg (Fig. 35.)- A slackening of the grip generally pre- 9° WRESTLING cedes the turn of the body ; but at the moment of the actual attack the arms should be tightened round your opponent's neck and shoulders to Fig. 35 operate in the act of throwing. With your left side turned towards your opponent, you cross both his legs with your left leg, simultaneously twisting him forcibly forward, and bring him to the ground. CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORLAND STYLE 91 If again I may be allowed to offer a hint, on the strength of my knowledge of judo, I would say that the power of your cross-buttock might on occasion be increased by sweeping your opponent's Fig. 36 left leg from the outside with your thigh, in the fashion of haraigoshi or "Sweeping Loin". Outside and Inside Clicks : These are useful strokes on the side of the lighter man. The most opportune 92 WRESTLING moment for application of the outside click is when your taller and stronger adversary has raised you from the ground. The click is accomplished, as in the orthodox back-heel, with your left leg. It is indeed suggestive of the back-heel, but is more in the nature of a defensive measure, whereas the back-heel is essentially offensive. To apply the inside click, you should jerk your opponent suddenly forward, as you face him squarely. Then when he tries to recover his balance by stepping back, you apply the inside click to his retreating leg with all possible force, and the added weight of your body (Fig. 36.). Constant practice is essential to mastery of this stroke. The Hype: This is accomplished by securing a tight grip, stepping forward with the right leg, raising your opponent, carrying him slightly to the left with a circular movement, and at the same time striking the inside of his left leg with your right knee. If the manoeuvre has been properly effected, you should throw your victim clean on to his back (Fig. 37.). The Buttock: More difficult of accomplishment than the cross-buttock. Turn your left side round in such wise as to get your back under your opponent's stomach, and hurl him bodily over to the ground. Experts aver that this particular throw is rarely attempted by proficient wrestlers against opponents of equal calibre, but it is a spectacular coup against an inferior adversary. Undoubtedly the Cumberland and Westmor- CUMBERLAND AND WESTMORLAND STYLE 93 land style of wrestling is seen to best advantage amid its natural surroundings of the picturesque North Country, and love of the game has helped to breed and develop many magnificent specimens ilv u> _^< V /Tof 7\ Fio. 37 of muscular British manhood. On the other hand, the style has failed to make a widespread popular appeal in any respect comparable to Catch-as- 94 WRESTLING Catch-Can or even Graeco-Roman, let alone All-in, which has latterly become something of a craze. The foregoing sketch of the better-known throws makes no pretence to being comprehensive or exhaustive; it is rather in the nature of a supple- ment to what has gone before, to enable the reader to form his own opinion on the merits of the several styles enumerated.